2022 OHSAA Tournament: Division II State Semifinal - No. 3 Badin vs No. 9 Archbishop Hoban

Dylan Hefflinger and Bruce Hefflinger
PBR Ohio Editor in Chief/NW Scout and Senior Writer

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2022 OHSAA Tournament: Division II State Semifinal - No. 3 Badin vs No. 9 Archbishop Hoban

AKRON -  Hoban is one game away from a repeat.

In a much-anticipated matchup of perennial state powers, the defending Division II champs outlasted Badin 4-3 on Friday to advance to the finals on Saturday against the winner of Chardon and Bishop Hartley.

A three-run third inning proved to be the difference for the ninth-ranked D-II team in Ohio. Trailing 2-1, Nate Shimmel tied the game with a two-out bases-loaded walk and Parker Falkenstein then put the Knights in front for good with a two-run single to left-center field.

Badin, which lost in the state semifinals for the second year in a row, trimmed the deficit to 4-3 in the fifth on an RBI infield single by Diego DeCello. But Hoban reliever Caleb Kepler got out of the jam and went on to pick up the save, permitting just one more baserunner in the game.

Noah LaFine picked up the win going 4.2 innings allowing two first-inning runs, one unearned. A Rodney Rachel bunt single plate Lucas Moore from second base after Landyn Vidourek scored the initial run on a throwing error when Moore stole second. 

Zack Zimmerman drove in the first Hoban run with a bases-juiced single in the first and added an infield single in the third to load the bases prior to the walk to Shimmel.

Badin left nine runners on base, two each in the first, third, fourth and fifth innings.  


PLAYERS OF THE GAME: The pitching duo of LaFine and Kepler came up with big pitch after big pitch to shut down a talented Badin squad featuring players committed to Wright State, Kentucky, Cincinnati and Penn State. LaFine, a Vanderbilt commit, fanned six in his time on the mound before Kepler threw 2.1 frames of shutout relief.

STRONG IN DEFEAT: In defeat, the Badin pitching pair of Nik Copenhaver and Eric Rawlings showed immense talent, combining to strike out 13, including seven of the last nine batters for Hoban. Copenhaver is a junior going to Washington State and Rawlings a senior headed to Lincoln Trail.

AT IT AGAIN: Falkenstein drove in two runs after bringing in one each in both state games last year as a freshman. Fellow sophomore Michael Ciavolelia now has one hit in three straight Final Four games with Nolan Holmgren scoring a run in all three games at state. LaFine now has a win, save and a strong six-inning start in the three contests Hoban has played at Canal Park the past two state tournaments..

WHAT’S NEXT: A strong junior class brings lots of promise to make a return trip to Akron for the third-rated D-II team in Ohio with all three outfielders back for Badin led by Kentucky commit Moore, the center fielder. The starting pitcher, first baseman and second baseman also are back from Friday’s starting lineup.


Badin         200  010  0  -  3  6  1
Hoban       103  000  x  -  4  5  2

Records: Hoban 23-9, Badin 26-7.

Winning Pitcher: Noah LaFine (4.2 innings, 3 runs, 2 earned runs, 4 hits, 6 strikeouts, 4 walks). Other: Caleb Kepler (2.1 innings, 0 runs, 2 hits, 1 strikeout, 1 walk).

Losing Pitcher: Nik Copenhaver (5 innings, 4 runs, 5 hits, 11 strikeouts, 3 walks). Other: Eric Rawlings (1 inning, 0 runs, 0 hits, 2 strikeouts, 0 walks).

Leading Hitters: (Badin) - Landyn Vidourek single, run; Lucas Moore run; Jimmy Nugent single; Rodney Rachel single, RBI; Brady Imhoff run; Copper Fleher single; Diego DeCello single, RBI; Brycen Fox single. (Hoban) - Masud Jennings run; Michael Ciavolelia double, run; Nolan Holmgren single; Colin Coyne run; Zack Zimmerman 2 singles, run, RBI; Nathan Shimmel RBI; Parker Falkenstein single, 2 RBIs.

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